Elected leaders extend Bloomington’s utility shutoff ban to October 1, also back higher cost for O’Neil Park upgrades

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BLOOMINGTON (WEEK) – Bloomington’s ban on utility shutoffs will continue until October 1 following city council action Monday night.

Aldermen voted unanimously to extend the moratorium a couple more weeks for people who are late paying their bills for water and other services because of pandemic-related financial hardships.

Council member Tom Crumpler initially suggested the city should “err on the side of generosity” and grant an even longer extension. However, city staffers assured council members they’ll grant exemptions, including special repayment plans, for people still having trouble paying their bills.

Council approves higher cost to design O’Neil Park upgrades

The city’s contract with the architectural and engineering firm Williams Associates initially called for the city to pay a $775,000 fee, but that was based on the total cost of the project not to exceed $10 million. City staffers said the cost has risen to $11.7 million, which increases the cost of the design work.

With Aldermen Nick Becker voting no, the council approved a change to pay the firm another $111,000.

Becker said the city should scale back the project to return the cost to $10 million.

Alderwoman Mollie Ward said she would be “quite unhappy” and people in her west side ward would be disappointed if O’Neil improvements don’t include features like a spray park and skateboard facility.

The post Elected leaders extend Bloomington’s utility shutoff ban to October 1, also back higher cost for O’Neil Park upgrades appeared first on WEEK.

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